Where to Eat in Manchester: Fine Dining

For some reason, the experts at Michelin have long overlooked the quality restaurants across the city of Manchester. The last time a restaurant in the city received the prestigious French award was back in 1974 but this by no means relates to the quality of fine dining on offer. Here are a few of the best restaurants in the city that many experts believe should by now have received the famous accolade.


Adam Reid at The French

The French did once have a Michelin star for its restaurant back in the 1970s and with the addition of Great British Menu winning chef, Adam Reid, the restaurant must again be very close to winning the award. The restaurant prides itself on using the best possible ingredients with many sourced as locally as possible and these are arranged into a lunch and three evening menus. The menu combined Reid’s brilliance with the naturalist and foraged style of cuisine that is typical of Simon Rogan’s stewardship.

Rabbit in the Moon

The interestingly named Rabbit in the Moon is a restaurant above the National Football Museum and is operated by Luke Cockerill under the stewardship of Michael O’Hare, known for the Michelin star The Man Behind the Curtain in Leeds. Described by O’Hare as a ‘space age Asian’ restaurant, the 17 course odyssey is certainly filled with many stars.


Where the Light Gets In

This restaurant is outside the city in Stockport but critics say it is definitely worth the journey. Owner and chef Sam Buckley is unconcerned by his unusual location and has created a restaurant that will attract people regardless of where it is located. There’s no menu, to start with, just a series of dishes served on small plates that depend on what’s in season or what has been foraged or fermented for the day. Maybe not one if you like to control your menu but otherwise, a real treat.



Hispi is a modern restaurant in a number of ways. Not only is it at the cutting edge in terms of the food, it is also an interesting venue for its connection with fans – it raised £100,000 from crowdfunding to get off the ground, for starters. The food has received any number of rave reviews from critics and the other interesting part is that you can get a meal for two for less than £50 which is something that occasionally puts up a barrier for people wanting to experience fine dining.



Hawksmoor Manchester restaurant offers fish and seafood brought straight from the quayside along with endless inventions from a very clever pastry chef. This restaurant is a steak fan’s ideal dining experience and has an understated and classy look to it that makes dining there a pleasure. The hardest part may be choosing between the triple cooked fries and the beef dripping chips as both look delicious!


Plenty to choose

These restaurants show that there are plenty of fine dining opportunities in Manchester and it is a shame that none of them or other top competitors have yet to be graced with the Michelin award. Perhaps next time…